‘NCIS’ Star David McCallum Kept Up Famous Researching Habits to Write ‘Once a Crooked Man’

by Joe Rutland

When “NCIS” star David McCallum started to write his novel, there was a lot of research involved. McCallum has kept that up over the years.

McCallum, who plays Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the CBS crime drama, talked about it during a 2016 interview with Ali Karim of SHOTSMAG CONFIDENTIAL. McCallum talked with Karim about his novel, “Once A Crooked Man.”

Karim asked him if he had a plot already outlined before writing began or did he follow a different path.

“The entire exercise started with the idea [of] an actor being handed a suitcase with $1 million in it,” the “NCIS” star said. “All of the other characters created and developed themselves over the years and I never had a complete plot in mind. It simply evolved.”

‘NCIS’ Star Admitted Doing Research For Novel Was ‘Very Enjoyable’

Karim then said, “I couldn’t but help myself picture David McCallum as your main protagonist Harry Murphy, as the old adage ‘write what you know’ often hints at; however, the book does contain investigators, criminal families, romance, and security issues, so did the novel require much research?”

“Yes,” McCallum replied. “I worked with DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] and with the State’s Attorney in upstate NY. In fact, I did more research than was necessary, but it was very enjoyable.”

He also applied that type of research toward his role as “Ducky” Mallard, who was the chief medical examiner until Mallard retired in season 16. Now, he’s still around as an NCIS historian.

McCallum has been a part of “NCIS” since its first season. The series enters its 19th season when it premiers on a new night, Monday, Sept. 20, at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central.

Show’s Fans Found Season 9 Finale To Be Best One In Series

Don’t expect “NCIS” fans to be a bunch of shy people who follow the show. They have definite opinions and one of them revolves around which season finale through the show’s history was the best.

Well, according to one poll (not scientific, of course), a number of them call the ninth season’s finale as their favorite. Called “Till Death Do Us Part,” the team looks ahead to Jimmy Palmer’s [Brian Dietzen] wedding. Harper Dearing [Richard Schiff], though, has other ideas.

He takes revenge on people Dearing blames over his son’s death. Gibbs is a target. This “NCIS” finale does not end with the credits. Fans are left to guess about what happens. Dearing goes on a rampage of death and no one can stop him.

It ends with Gibbs and some team members in their building when a car bomb goes off. “Ducky” learns of the bombing and suffers a heart attack. Fans have to wait until Season 10 to get answers.